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Using the tools of urban design, architecture, planning, landscape architecture, art, and technology and policy, this competition seeks ideas that create new, or adapt existing public spaces and cultural infrastructure for people to gather and express both their individual and collective voices. Design opportunities should respond to social transmission and infrastructure in Washington, DC. Emphasis should be on creating cultural destinations, not another monumental landmark. To achieve this goal, embracing cultural diversity and social equity is required. Diversity is not solely focused on welcoming different cultures and including multiple voices but also recognizing, understanding, and supporting the differences between people. The proposed cultural destinations should encourage not only long-time residents but also newcomers to express and accept identities of all kinds.

Competition Provocations

  • How can we find balance in the contradictions of preserving places for existing cultural identities while allowing for new ones?
  • How do we create places for cross-cultural exchange of information? o Can urban design support tolerance, providing people a safe medium to express themselves?
  • Can the urban fabrics reflect nuances that can promote exchange? For instance, threshold spaces, porches/stoops, streets/sidewalks, parks, cultural/academic institutions, etc.?
  • How can local community spaces interact with and support tourist spaces in DC, and vice versa?
  • How can we look at culture and identity through the lens of equity, inclusion and diversity?
  • How can we celebrate local communities and cultures, applying the notion of authentic culture, over manufactured branding, as an economic driver for place?
  • How can cities accommodate millions of visitors while creating and protecting public spaces—in scale, program, symbology, etc.—for local cultures that already exist and will evolve with the city over time?

Submission Requirements

You are invited to describe your ideas in any variety of ways, with the following requirements:

  • A short narrative of 300-500 words.
  • Drawings and imagery should illustrate the proposals impact on different urban scales.
  • Files should be submitted in one of the following file types: PDF, AVI, WMV, MOV, MP4.
  • Multi-page PDF submissions are limited to 5 pages/slides.
  • Video submissions are limited to 3 minutes in length.

All submissions (regardless of format) are limited to 25 MB in size. Submissions could include, among other types:

  • Bird’s eye and/or eye level renderings
  • Site plans, plans and/or sections
  • Axonometric or isometric drawings o Video (max length of 3min)
  • Infographics and diagrams
  • Collage
  • GIF


  • Any person or teams of up to five members may register and submit a competition entry.
  • Multiple entries from the same person or team may be considered as long as each is registered and paid for separately and the content is not duplicated. Duplicated content will disqualify all entries involved.
  • Any person that is a registered member of the AIA|DC Urban Design Committee or AIA|DC Asian American Design Union Committee is not eligible to participate.
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